Skip to main content

Full text of "Memorial address on the life and character of Abraham Lincoln"

See other formats


■ • . . - 












Engraved & Printed nl the Tiv;i-.urv fhfwiilmwi 















/ * . 

V : / 





Representatives op America: 
That God rides in the affairs of men is as certain as 
any truth of physical science. On the great moving 
power which is from the beginning hangs the world of 
the senses and the world of thought and action. Eter- 
nal wisdom marshals the great procession of the na- 
tions, working in patient continuity through the ages, 
never halting and never abrupt, encompassing all events 
in its oversight, and ever effecting its will, though 
mortals may slumber in apathy or oppose with mad- 
ness. Kings are lifted up or thrown down, nations 
come and go, republics flourish and wither, dynasties 
pass away like a tale that is told ; but nothing is by 
chance, though men, in their ignorance of causes, may 
think so. The deeds of time are governed, as well as 
judged, by the decrees of eternity. The caprice of 
fleeting existences bends to the immovable omnipotence, 
which plants its foot on all the centuries and has 
neither change of purpose nor repose. Sometimes, 
like a messenger through the thick darkness of night, 
it steps along mysterious ways; but when the hour 
strikes for a people, or for mankind, to pass into a new 
form of being, unseen hands draw the bolts from the 

gates of futurity ; an all-subduing influence prepares 
the minds of men for the coming revolution; those who 
plan resistance find themselves in conflict with the will 
of Providence rather than with human devices; and 
all hearts and all understandings, most of all the opin- 
ions and influences of the unwilling, are wonderfully 
attracted and compelled to bear forward the change, 
which becomes more an obedience to the law of uni- 
versal nature than submission to the arbitrament of 

In the fulness of time a republic rose up in the wil- 
derness of America. Thousands of years had passed 
away before this child of the ages could be born. 
From whatever there was of good in the systems of 
former centuries she drew her nourishment; the wrecks 
of the past were her warnings. With the deepest sen- 
timent of faith fixed in her inmost nature, she disen- 
thralled religion from bondage to temporal poWer, that 
her worship might be worship only in spirit and in 
truth. The wisdoin which had passed from India 
through Greece, with what Greece had added of her 
own; the jurisprudence of Rome; the mediaeval munici- 
palities ; the Teutonic method of representation ; the 
political experience of England ; the benignant wisdom 
of the expositors of the law of nature and of nations in 

France and Holland, all shed on her their selectest 
influence. She washed the gold of political wisdom 
from the sands wherever it was found ; she cleft it from 
the rocks ; she gleaned it among ruins. Out of all the 
discoveries of statesmen and sages, out of all the expe- 
rience of past human life, she compiled a perennial 
political philosophy, the primordial principles of national 
ethics. The wise men of Europe sought the best gov- 
ernment in a mixture of monarchy, aristocracy, and 
democracy ; America went behind these names to ex- 
tract from them the vital elements of social forms, and 
blend them harmoniously in the free commonwealth, 
which comes nearest to the illustration of the natural 
equality of all men. She intrusted the guardianship of 
established rights to law, the movements of reform to 
the spirit of the people, and drew her force from the 
happy reconciliation of both. 

Republics had heretofore been limited to small can- 
tons, or cities and their dependencies ; America, doing 
that of which the like had not before been known upon 
the earth, or believed by kings and statesmen to be pos- 
sible, extended her republic across a continent. Under 
her auspices the vine of liberty took deep root and 
filled the land ; the hills were covered with its shadow, 
its boughs were like the goodly cedars, and reached 

unto both oceans. The fame of this only daughter of 
freedom went out into all the lands of the earth ; from 
her the human race drew hope. 

Neither hereditary monarchy nor hereditary aristoc- 
racy planted itself on our soil; the only hereditary 
condition that fastened itself upon us was servitude. 
Nature works in sincerity, and is ever true to its law. 
The bee hives honey; the viper distils poison; the vine 
stores its juices, and so do the poppy and the upas. In 
like manner every thought and every action ripens its 
seed, each according to its kind. In the individual man, 
and still more in a nation, a just idea gives life, and pro- 
gress, and glory; a false conception portends disaster, 
shame, and death. A hundred and twenty years ago a 
West Jersey Quaker wrote: "This trade of importing 
slaves is dark gloominess hanging over the land; the 
consequences will be grievous to posterity." At the 
north the growth of slavery was arrested by natural 
causes; in the region nearest the tropics it throve rankly, 
and worked itself into the organism of the rising States. 
Virginia stood between the two, with soil, and climate, 
and resources demanding free labor, yet capable of the 
profitable employment of the slave. She was the land 
of great statesmen, and they saw the danger of her 
being whelmed under the rising flood in time to struggle 

against the delusions of avarice and pride. Ninety-four 
years ago the legislature of Virginia addressed the 
British king, saying that the trade in slaves was "of 
great inhumanity," was opposed to the "security and 
happiness" of their constituents, "would in time have 
the most destructive influence," and "endanger their 
very existence." And the king answered them that, 
"upon pain of his highest displeasure, the importa- 
tion of slaves should not be in any respect obstructed." 
"Pharisaical Britain," wrote Franklin in behalf of Vir- 
ginia, "to pride thyself in setting free a single slave that 
happened to land on thy coasts, while thy laws continue 
a traffic whereby so many hundreds of thousands are 
dragged into a slavery that is entailed on their posterity." 
"A serious view of this subject," said Patrick Henry in 
1773, "gives a gloomy prospect to future times." In 
the same year George Mason wrote to the legislature 
of Virginia: "The laws of impartial Providence may 
avenge our injustice upon our posterity." Conforming 
his conduct to his convictions, Jefferson, in Virginia, 
and in the Continental Congress, with the approval of 
Edmund Pendleton, branded the slave-trade as piracy; 
and he fixed in the Declaration of Independence, as the 
corner-stone of America: "All men are created equal, 
with an unalienable right to liberty." On the first 

organization of temporary governments for the conti- 
nental domain, Jefferson, but for the default of New- 
Jersey, would, in 1784, have consecrated every part of 
that territory to freedom. In the formation of the 
national Constitution, Virginia, opposed by a part of 
New England, vainly struggled to abolish the slave- 
trade at once and forever; and when the ordinance of 
1787 was introduced by Nathan Dane without the 
clause prohibiting slavery, it was through the favorable 
disposition of Virginia and the South that the clause of 
Jefferson was restored, and the whole northwestern 
territory — all the territory that then belonged to the 
nation — was reserved for the labor of freemen. 

The hope prevailed in Virginia that the abolition of 
the slave-trade w r ould bring with it the gradual aboli- 
tion of slavery; but the expectation was doomed to 
disappointment. In supporting incipient measures for 
emancipation, Jefferson encountered difficulties greater 
than he could overcome, and, after vain wrestlings, the 
words that broke from him, "I tremble for my country 
when I reflect that God is just, that His justice can- 
not sleep forever," were words of despair. It was the 
desire of Washington's heart that Virginia should re- 
move slavery by a public act; and as the prospects of 
a general emancipation grew more and more dim, he, in 

utter hopelessness of the action of the State, did all 
that he could by bequeathing freedom to his own slaves. 
Good and true men had, from the days of 1776, sug- 
gested the colonizing of the negro in the home of his 
ancestors; but the idea of colonization was thought to 
increase the difficulty of emancipation, and, in spite of 
strong support, while it accomplished much good for 
Africa, it proved impracticable as a remedy at home. 
Madison, who in early life disliked slavery so much that 
he wished "to depend as little as possible on the labor 
of slaves;" Madison, who held that where slavery ex- 
ists "the republican theory becomes fallacious;" Madison, 
who in the last years of his life would not consent to 
the annexation of Texas, lest his countrymen should fill 
it with slaves; Madison, who said, "slavery is the 
greatest evil under which the nation labors — a porten- 
tous evil — an evil, moral, political, and economical — a 
sad blot on our free country" — went mournfully into 
old age with the cheerless words: "No satisfactory 
plan has yet been devised for taking out the stain." 

The men of the Revolution passed away; a new 
generation sprang up, impatient that an institution to 
which they clung should be condemned as inhuman, 
unwise, and unjust. In the throes of discontent at the 
self-reproach of their fathers, and blinded by the lustre 

of wealth to be acquired by the culture of a new 
staple, they devised the theory that slavery, which they 
would not abolish, was not evil, but good. They turned 
on the friends of colonization, and confidently de- 
manded: "Why take black men from a civilized and 
Christian country, where their labor is a source of im- 
mense gain, and a power to control the markets of the 
world, and send them to a land of ignorance, idolatry, 
and indolence, which was the home of their forefathers, 
but not theirs ? Slavery is a blessing. Were they not 
in their ancestral land naked, scarcely lifted above 
brutes, ignorant of the course of the sun, controlled by 
nature? And in their new abode have they not been 
taught to know the difference of the seasons, to plough, 
and plant, and reap, to drive oxen, to tame the horse, 
to exchange their scanty dialect for the richest of all 
the languages among men, and the stupid adoration of 
follies for the purest religion? And since slavery is 
good for the blacks, it is good for their masters, bringing 
opulence and the opportunity of educating a race. The 
slavery of the black is good in itself; he shall serve the 
white man forever." And nature, which better under- 
stood the quality of fleeting interest and passion, laughed 
as it caught the echo, "man" and "forever!" 

A regular development of pretensions followed the 


new declaration with logical consistency. Under the 
old declaration every one of the States had retained, 
each for itself, the right of manumitting all slaves by 
an ordinary act of legislation; now the power of the 
people over servitude through their legislatures was 
curtailed, and the privileged class was swift in imposing 
legal and constitutional obstructions on the people 
themselves. The power of emancipation was narrowed 
or taken away. The slave might not be disquieted by 
education. There remained an unconfessed conscious- 
ness that the system of bondage was wrong, and a rest- 
less memory that it was at variance with the true 
American tradition ; its safety was therefore to be se- 
cured by political organization. The generation that 
made the Constitution took care for the predominance 
of freedom in Congress by the ordinance of Jefferson; 
the new school aspired to secure for slavery an equality 
of votes in the Senate, and, while it hinted at an or- 
ganic act that should concede to the collective South a 
veto power on national legislation, it assumed that 
each State separately had the right to revise and nullify 
laws of the United States, according to the discretion 
of its judgment. 

The new theory hung as a bias on the foreign rela- 
tions of the country; there could be no recognition of 

. as 


Hayti, nor even of the American colony of Liberia ; 
and the world was given to understand that the estab- 
lishment of free labor in Cuba would be a reason for 
wresting that island from Spain. Territories were an- 
nexed — Louisiana, Florida, Texas, half of Mexico; 
slavery must have its share in them all, and it accepted 
for a time a dividing line between the unquestioned 
domain of free labor and that in which involuntary 
labor was to be tolerated. A few years passed away, 
and the new school, strong and arrogant, demanded 
and received an apology for applying the Jefferson 
proviso to Oregon. 

The application of that proviso was interrupted for 
three administrations, but justice moved steadily on- 
ward. In the news that the men of California had 
chosen freedom, Calhoun heard the knell of parting 
slavery, and on his death-bed he counselled secession. 
Washington, and Jefferson, and Madison had died 
despairing of the abolition of slavery ; Calhoun died in 
despair at the growth of freedom. His system rushed 
irresistibly to its natural development The death- 
struggle for California was followed by a short truce ; 
but the new school of politicians, who said that slavery 
was not evil, but good, soon sought to recover the 
ground they had lost, and, confident of securing Kansas, 

they demanded that the established line in the Territo- 
ries between freedom and slavery should be blotted out. 
The country, believing in the strength and enterprise 
and expansive energy of freedom, made answer, though 
reluctantly : " Be it so ; let there be no strife between 
brethren; let freedom and slavery compete for the Ter- 
ritories on equal terms, in a fair field, under an impar- 
tial administration ;" and on this theory, if on any, the 
contest might have been left to the decision of time. 

The South started back in appalment from its victory, 
for it knew that a fair competition foreboded its defeat. 
But where could it now find an ally to save it from its 
own mistake 1 What I have next to say is spoken with 
no emotion but regret. Our meeting to-day is, as it 
were, at the grave, in the presence of eternity, and the 
truth must be uttered in soberness and sincerity. In a 
great republic, as was observed more than two thousand 
years ago, any attempt to overturn the state owes its 
strength to aid from some branch of the government. 
The Chief Justice of the United States, without any 
necessity or occasion, volunteered to come to the rescue 
of the theory of slavery ; and from his court there lay 
no appeal but to the bar of humanity and history. 
Against the Constitution, against the memory of the 
nation, against a previous decision, against a series of 

enactments, he decided that the slave is property ; that 
slave property is entitled to no less protection than any 
other property; that the Constitution upholds it in every 
Territory against any act of a local legislature, and even 
against Congress itself; or, as the President for that 
term tersely promulgated the saying, "Kansas is as 
much a slave State as South Carolina or Georgia; 
slavery, by virtue of the Constitution, exists in every 
Territory." The municipal character of slavery being 
thus taken away, and slave property decreed to be 
" sacred," the authority of the courts was invoked to 
introduce it by the comity of law into States where 
slavery had been abolished, and in one of the courts of 
the United States a judge pronounced the African 
slave-trade legitimate, and numerous and powerful 
advocates demanded its restoration. 

Moreover, the Chief Justice, in his elaborate opinion, 
announced what had never been heard from any magis- 
trate of Greece or Rome; what was unknown to civil 
law, and canon law, and feudal law, and common law, 
and constitutional law; unknown to Jay, to Rutledge, 
Ellsworth, and Marshall — that there are "slave races." 
The spirit of evil is intensely logical. Having the 
authority of this decision, five States swiftly followed 
the earlier example of a sixth, and opened the way for 

reducing the free negro to bondage; the migrating free 
negro became a slave if he but entered within the juris- 
diction of a seventh; and an eighth, from its extent, and 
soil, and mineral resources, destined to incalculable 
greatness, closed its eyes on its coming prosperity, and 
enacted, as by Taney's dictum it had the right to do, 
that every free black man who would live within its 
limits must accept the condition of slavery for himself 
and his posterity. 

Only one step more remained to be taken. Jefferson 
and the leading statesmen of his day held fast to the 
idea that the enslavement of the African was socially, 
morally, and politically wrong. The new school was 
founded exactly upon the opposite idea; and they re- 
solved, first, to distract the democratic party, for which 
the Supreme Court had now furnished the means, and 
then to establish a new government, with negro slavery 
for its corner-stone, as socially, morally, and politically 

As the Presidential election drew on, one of the great 
traditional parties did not make its appearance; the 
other reeled as it sought to preserve its old position, 
and the candidate who most nearly represented its best 
opinion, driven by patriotic zeal, roamed the country 
from end to end to speak for union, eager, at least, to 

confront its enemies, yet not having hope that it would 
find its deliverance through him. The storm rose to a 
whirlwind; who should allay its wrath? The most 
experienced statesmen of the country had failed; there 
was no hope from those who were great after the flesh: 
could relief come from one whose wisdom was like the 
wisdom of little children 1 

The choice of America fell on a man born west of 
the Alleghanies, in the cabin of poor people of Hardin 
county, Kentucky — Abraham Lincoln. 

His mother could read, but not write; his father 
could do neither; but his parents sent him, with an old 
spelling-book, to school, and he learned in his childhood 
to do both. 

When eight years old he floated down the Ohio with 
his father on a raft, which bore the family and all their 
possessions to the shore of Indiana; and, child as he 
was, he gave help as they toiled through dense forests 
to the interior of Spencer county. There, in the land 
of free labor, he grew up in a log-cabin, with the 
solemn solitude for his teacher in his meditative hours. 
Of Asiatic literature he knew only the Bible; of Greek, 
Latin, and medieeval, no more than the translation of 
iEsop's Fables; of English, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's 
Progress. The traditions of George Fox and William 

Perm passed to him dimly along the lines of two cen- 
turies through his ancestors, who were Quakers. 

Otherwise his education was altogether American. 
The Declaration of Independence was his compendium 
of political wisdom, the Life of Washington his con- 
stant study, and something of Jefferson and Madison 
reached him through Henry Clay, whom he honored 
from boyhood. For the rest, from day to day, he lived 
the life of the American people, walked in its light, 
reasoned with its reason, thought with its power of 
thought, felt the beatings of its mighty heart, and so 
was in every way a child of nature, a child of the West, 
a child of America. 

At nineteen, feeling impulses of ambition to get on 
in the world, he engaged himself to go down the Mis- 
sissippi in a flatboat, receiving ten dollars a month for 
his wages, and afterwards he made the trip once more. 
At twenty-one he drove his father's cattle, as the family 
migrated to Illinois, and split rails to fence in the new 
homestead in the wild. At twenty-three he was a 
captain of volunteers in the Black Hawk war. He 
kept a store. He learned something of surveying, but 
of English literature he added to Bunyan nothing but 
Shakspeare's plays. At twenty-five he was elected to 
the legislature of Illinois, where he served eight years. 

At twenty-seven he was admitted to the bar. In 1837 
he chose his home at Springfield, the beautiful centre 
of the richest land in the State. In 1847 he was a 
member of the national Congress, where he voted 
about forty times in favor of the principle of the Jef- 
ferson proviso. In 1849 he sought, eagerly but unsuc- 
cessfully, the place of Commissioner of the Land Office, 
and he refused an appointment that would have trans- 
ferred his residence to Oregon. In 1854 he gave his 
influence to elect from Illinois, to the American Senate, 
a Democrat, who would certainly do justice to Kansas. 
In 1858, as the rival of Douglas, he went before the 
people of the mighty Prairie State, saying, "This Union 
cannot permanently endure half slave and half free; the 
Union will not be dissolved, but the house will cease to 
be divided;" and now, in 1861, with no experience 
whatever as an executive officer, while States were 
madly flying from their orbit, and wise men knew not 
where to find counsel, this descendant of Quakers, this 
pupil of Bunyan, this offspring of the great West, was 
elected President of America. 

He measured the difficulty of the duty that devolved 
upon him, and was resolved to fulfil it. As on the 
eleventh of February, 1861, he left Springfield, which 
for a quarter of a century had been his happy home, to 

the crowd of his friends and neighbors, whom he was 
never more to meet, he spoke a solemn farewell : " I 
know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty has 
devolved upon me, greater than that which has devolved 
upon any other man since Washington. He never 
would have succeeded, except for the aid of Divine 
Providence, upon which he at all times relied. On the 
same Almighty Being I place my reliance. Pray that 
I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I 
cannot succeed, but with which success is certain.'* 
To the men of Indiana he said: "I am but an acci- 
dental, temporary instrument ; it is your business to 
rise up and preserve the Union and liberty." At the 
capital of Ohio he said : " Without a name, without a 
reason why I should have a name, there has fallen upon 
me a task such as did not rest even upon the Father of 
his country." At various places in New York, espe- 
cially at Albany, before the legislature, which tendered 
him the united support of the great Empire State, he 
said: "While I hold myself the humblest of all the 
individuals who have ever been elevated to the Presi- 
dency, I have a more difficult task to perform than any 
of them. I bring a true heart to the work. I must 
rely upon the people of the whole country for support, 
and with their sustaining aid even I, humble as I am, 

cannot fail to carry the ship of state safely through the 
storm." To the assembly of New Jersey, at Trenton, 
he explained : " I shall take the ground I deem most 
just to the North, the East, the West, the South, and the 
whole country, in good temper, certainly with no 
malice to any section. I am devoted to peace, but it 
may be necessary to put the foot down firmly." In the 
old Independence Hall, of Philadelphia, he said : " I 
have never had a feeling politically that did not spring 
from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of 
Independence, which gave liberty, not alone to the 
people of this country, but to the world in all future 
time. If the country cannot be saved without giving 
up that principle, I would rather be assassinated on the 
spot than surrender it. I have said nothing but what 
I am willing to live and die by." 

Travelling in the dead of night to escape assas- 
sination, Lincoln arrived at Washington nine days 
before his inauguration. The outgoing President, at 
the opening of the session of Congress, had still kept as 
the majority of his advisers men engaged in treason; 
had declared that in case of even an "imaginary" appre- 
hension of danger from notions of freedom among the 
slaves, "disunion would become inevitable." Lincoln 
and others had questioned the opinion of Taney; such 



impugning he ascribed to the "factious temper of the 
times." The favorite doctrine of the majority of the 
Democratic party on the power of a territorial legisla- 
ture over slavery he condemned as an attack on "the 
sacred rights of property." The State legislatures, he 
insisted, must repeal what he called " their unconstitu- 
tional and obnoxious enactments," and which, if such, 
were "null and void," or "it would be impossible for 
any human power to save the Union." Nay! if these 
unimportant acts were not repealed, "the injured States 
would be justified in revolutionary resistance to the 
government of the Union." He maintained that no 
State might secede at its sovereign will and pleasure; 
that the Union was meant for perpetuity, and that Con- 
gress might attempt to preserve it, but only by concilia- 
tion ; that "the sword was not placed in their hands to 
preserve it by force;" that "the last desperate remedy 
of a despairing people" would be "an explanatory 
amendment recognising the decision of the Supreme 
Court of the United States." The American Uniou 
he called "a confederacy" of States, and he thought it 
a duty to make the appeal for the amendment "before 
any of these States should separate themselves from 
the Union." The views of the Lieutenant General, 
containing some patriotic advice, "conceded the right 

of secession," pronounced a quadruple rupture of the 
Union "a smaller evil than the reuniting of the frag- 
ments by the sword," and "eschewed the idea of in- 
vading a seceded State." After changes in the Cabinet, 
the President informed Congress that "matters were 
still worse;" that "the South suffered serious grievances," 
which should be redressed "in peace." The day after 
this message the flag of the Union was fired upon from 
Fort Morris, and the insult was not revenged or noticed. 
Senators in Congress telegraphed to their constituents 
to seize the national forts, and they were not arrested. 
The finances of the country were grievously embar- 
rassed. Its little army was not within reach; the part 
of it in Texas, with all its stores, was made over by its 
commander to rebels. One State after another voted 
in convention to secede. A peace congress, so called, 
met at the request of Virginia, to concert the terms of 
a capitulation which should secure permission for the 
continuance of the Union. Congress, in both branches, 
sought to devise conciliatory expedients; the Territories 
of the country were organized in a manner not to con- 
flict with any pretensions of the South, or any decision 
of the Supreme Court; and, nevertheless, the repre- 
sentatives of the rebellion formed at Montgomery a 
provisional government, and pursued their relentless 

purpose with such success that the Lieutenant General 
feared the city of Washington might find itself "in- 
cluded in a foreign country," and proposed, among the 
options for the consideration of Lincoln, to bid the 
wayward States "depart in peace." The great republic 
appeared to have its emblem in the vast unfinished 
Capitol, at that moment surrounded by masses of stone 
and prostrate columns never yet lifted into their places, 
seemingly the monument of high but delusive aspira- 
tions, the confused wreck of inchoate magnificence, 
sadder than any ruin of Egyptian Thebes or Athens. 
The fourth of March came. With instinctive wis- 
dom the new President, speaking to the people on 
taking the oath of office, put aside every question that 
divided the country, and gained a right to universal 
support by planting himself on the single idea of 
Union. The Union he declared to be unbroken and 
perpetual, and he announced his determination to fulfil 
" the simple duty of taking care that the laws be faith- 
fully executed in all the States." Seven days later, the 
convention of Confederate States unanimously adopted 
a constitution of their own, and the new government 
was authoritatively announced to be founded on the 
idea that the negro race is a slave race; that slavery is 
its natural and normal condition. The issue was made 


Up, whether the great republic was to maintain its 
providential place in the history of mankind, or a rebel- 
lion founded on negro slavery gain a recognition of its 
principle throughout the civilized world. To the dis- 
affected Lincoln had said, " You can have no conflict 
without being yourselves the aggressors." To fire the 
passions of the southern portion of the people, the con- 
federate government chose to become aggressors, and, 
on the morning of the twelfth of April, began the bom- 
bardment of Fort Sumter, and compelled its evacuation. 
It is the glory of the late President that he had per- 
fect faith in the perpetuity of the Union. Supported 
in advance by Douglas, who spoke as with the voice of 
a million, he instantly called a meeting of Congress, 
and summoned the people to come up and repossess the 
forts, places, and property which had been seized from 
the Union. The men of the north were trained in 
schools; industrious and frugal; many of them delicately 
bred, their minds teeming with ideas and fertile in 
plans of enterprise ; given to the culture of the arts ; 
eager in the pursuit of wealth, yet employing wealth 
less for ostentation than for developing the resources of 
their country; seeking happiness in the calm of domestic 
life ; and such lovers of peace, that for generations they 
had been reputed unwarlike. Now, at the cry of their 

country in its distress, they rose up with unappeasable 
patriotism; not hirelings — the purest and of the best 
blood in the land. Sons of a pious ancestry, with a 
clear perception of duty, unclouded faith and fixed 
resolve to succeed, they thronged around the President, 
to support the wronged, the beautiful flag of the nation. 
The halls of theological seminaries sent forth their 
young men, whose lips were touched with eloquence, 
whose hearts kindled with devotion, to serve in the 
ranks, and make their way to command only as they 
learned the art of war. Striplings in the colleges, as 
well the most gentle and the most studious, those of 
sweetest temper and loveliest character and brightest 
genius, passed from their classes to the camp. The 
lumbermen from the forests, the mechanics from their 
benches, where they had been trained, by the exercise 
of political rights, to share the life and hope of the 
republic, to feel their responsibility to their forefathers, 
their posterity and mankind, went to the front, resolved 
that their dignity, as a constituent part of this republic, 
should not be impaired. Farmers and sons of farmers 
left the land but half ploughed, the grain but half 
planted, and, taking up the musket, learned to face 
without fear the presence of peril and the coining of 
death in the shocks of war, while their hearts were 

still attracted to their herds and fields, and all the 
tender affections of home. Whatever there was of 
truth and faith and public love in the common heart, 
broke out with one expression. The mighty winds 
blew from every quarter, to fan the flame of the sacred 
and unquenchable fire. 

For a time the war was thought to be confined to 
our own domestic affairs, but it was soon seen that it 
involved the destinies of mankind; its principles and 
causes shook the politics of Europe to the centre, and 
from Lisbon to Pekin divided the governments of the 

There was a kingdom whose people had in an emi- 
nent degree attained to freedom of industry and the 
security of person and property. Its middle class rose 
to greatness. Out of that class sprung the noblest 
poets and philosophers, whose words built up the 
intellect of its people; skilful navigators, to find out for 
its merchants the many paths of the oceans; discoverers 
in natural science, whose inventions guided its industry 
to wealth, till it equalled any nation of the world in 
letters, and excelled all in trade and commerce. But its 
government was become a government of land, and not 
of men; every blade of grass was represented, but only 
a small minority of the people. In the transition from 

the feudal forms the heads of the social organization 
freed themselves from the military services which 
were the conditions of their tenure, and, throwing the 
burden on the industrial classes, kept all the soil to 
themselves. Vast estates that had been managed by 
monasteries as endowments for religion and charity 
were impropriated to swell the wealth of courtiers and 
favorites; and the commons, where the poor man once 
had his right of pasture, were taken away, and, under 
forms of law, enclosed distributively within the domains 
of the adjacent landholders. Although no law forbade 
any inhabitant from purchasing land, the costliness of 
the transfer constituted a prohibition; so that it was the 
rule of the country that the plough should not be in the 
hands of its owner. The church was rested on a con- 
tradiction; claiming to be an embodiment of absolute 
truth, it was a creature of the statute-book. 

The progress of time increased the terrible contrast 
between wealth and poverty. In their years of strength 
the laboring people, cut off from all share in governing 
the state, derived a scant support from the severest toil, 
and had no hope for old age but in public charity or 
death. A grasping ambition had dotted the world with 
military posts, kept watch over our borders on the north- 
east, at the Bermudas, in the West Indies, appropriated 

the gates of the Pacific, of the Southern and of the 
Indian ocean, hovered on our northwest at Vancouver, 
held the whole of the newest continent, and the en- 
trances to the old Mediterranean and Red Sea, and 
garrisoned forts all the way from Madras to China. 
That aristocracy had gazed with terror on the growth 
of a commonwealth where freeholders existed by the 
million, and religion was not in bondage to the state, 
and now they could not repress their joy at its perils, 
They had not one word of sympathy for the kind- 
hearted poor man's son whom America had chosen for 
her chief; they jeered at his large hands, and long 
feet, and ungainly stature; and the British secretary of 
state for foreign affairs made haste to send word through 
the palaces of Europe that the great republic was in 
its agony; that the republic was no more; that a head- 
stone was all that remained due by the law of nations 
to "the late Union." But it is written, "Let the dead 
bury their dead;" they may not bury the living. Let 
the dead bury their dead; let a bill of reform remove 
the worn-out government of a class, and infuse new life 
into the British constitution by confiding rightful power 
to the people. 

But while the vitality of America is indestructible, 
the British government hurried to do what never before 

had been done by Christian powers; what was in direct 
conflict with its own exposition of public law in the 
time of our struggle for independence. Though the 
insurgent States had not a ship in an open harbor, it 
invested them with all the rights of a belligerent, even 
on the ocean; and this, too, when the rebellion was 
not only directed against the gentlest and most bene- 
ficent government on earth, without a shadow of justi- 
fiable cause, but when the rebellion was directed 
against human nature itself for the perpetual enslave- 
ment of a race. And the effect of this recognition was, 
that acts in themselves piratical found shelter in British 
courts of law. The resources of British capitalists, 
their workshops, their armories, their private arsenals, 
their ship-yards, were in league with the insurgents, and 
every British harbor in the wide world became a safe 
port for British ships, manned by British sailors, and 
armed with British guns, to prey on our peaceful com- 
merce; even on our ships coming from British ports, 
freighted with British products, or that had carried 
gifts of grain to the English poor. The prime minis- 
ter, in the House of Commons, sustained by cheers, 
scoffed at the thought that their laws could be amended 
at our request, so as to preserve real neutrality ; and to 
remonstrances, now owned to have been just, their sec- 

retary of state answered that they could not change 
their laws ad infinitum: 

The people of America then wished, as they always 
have wished, as they still wish, friendly relations with 
England, and no man in England or America can desire 
it more strongly than I. This country has always 
yearned for good relations with England. Thrice only 
in all its history has that yearning been fairly met : in 
the days of Hampden and Cromwell, again in the first 
ministry of the elder Pitt, and once again in the min- 
istry of Shclburne. Not that there have not at all 
times been just men among the peers of Britain — like 
Halifax in the days of James the Second, or a Gran- 
ville, an Argyll, or a Houghton in ours; and we cannot 
be indifferent to a country that produces statesmen like 
Cobden and Bright; but the best bower anchor of 
peace was the working class of England, who suffered 
most from our civil war, but who, while they broke 
their diminished bread in sorrow, always encouraged us 
to persevere. 

The act of recognising the rebel belligerents was con- 
certed with France — France, so beloved in America, on 
which she had conferred the greatest benefits that one 
people ever conferred on another; France, which stands 
foremost on the continent of Europe for the solidity of 

her culture, as well as for the bravery and generous 
impulses of her sons ; France, which for centuries had 
been moving steadily in her own way towards intellec- 
tual and political freedom. The policy regarding fur- 
ther colonization of America by European powers, 
known commonly as the doctrine of Monroe, had its 
origin in France, and if it takes any man's name, 
should bear the name of Turgot. It was adopted by 
Louis the Sixteenth, in the cabinet of which Vergennes 
was the most important member. It is emphatically 
the policy of France, to which, with transient devia- 
tions, the Bourbons, the First Napoleon, the House of 
Orleans have adhered. 

The late President was perpetually harassed by ru- 
mors that the Emperor Napoleon the Third desired 
formally to recognise the States in rebellion as an inde- 
pendent power, and that England held him back by 
her reluctance, or France by her traditions of freedom, 
or he himself by his own better judgment and clear 
perception of events. But the republic of Mexico, on 
our borders, was, like ourselves, distracted by a rebel- 
lion, and from a similar cause. The monarchy of 
England had fastened upon us slavery which did not 
disappear with independence; in like manner, the 
ecclesiastical policy established by the Spanish council 

of the Indies, in the days of Charles the Fifth and 
Philip the Second, retained its vigor in the Mexican 
republic. The fifty years of civil war under which she 
had languished was due to the bigoted system which 
was the legacy of monarchy, just as here the inherit- 
ance of slavery kept alive political strife, and culminated 
in civil war. As with us there could be no quiet but 
through the end of slavery, so in Mexico there could be 
no prosperity until the crushing tyranny of intolerance 
should cease. The party of slavery in the United 
States sent their emissaries to Europe to solicit aid ; 
and so did the party of the church in Mexico, as 
organized by the old Spanish council of the Indies, but 
with a different result. Just as the Republican party 
had made an end of the rebellion, and was establishing 
the best government ever known in that region, and 
giving promise to the nation of order, peace, and pros- 
perity, word was brought us, in the moment of our 
deepest affliction, that the French Emperor, moved by 
a desire to erect in North America a buttress for im- 
perialism, would transform the republic of Mexico into 
a secundo-geniture for the house of Hapsburg. America 
might complain; she could not then interpose, and de- 
lay seemed justifiable. It was seen that Mexico could 
not, with all its wealth of land, compete in cereal pro- 


ducts with our northwest, nor in tropical products with 
Cuba, nor could it, under a disputed dynasty, attract 
capital, or create public works, or develop mines, or 
borrow money; so that the imperial system of Mexico, 
which was forced at once to recognise the wisdom of 
the policy of the republic by adopting it, could prove 
only an unr enumerating drain on the French treasury 
for the support of an Austrian adventurer. 

Meantime a new series of momentous questions 
grows up, and forces itself on the consideration of 
the thoughtful. Republicanism has learned how to in- 
troduce into its constitution every element of order, as 
well as every element of freedom; but thus far the 
continuity of its government has seemed to depend on 
the continuity of elections. It is now to be considered 
how perpetuity is to be secured against foreign occupa- 
tion. The successor of Charles the First of England 
dated his reign from the death of his father; the Bour- 
bons, coming back after a long series of revolutions, 
claimed that the Louis who became king was the eigh- 
teenth of that name. The present Emperor of the 
French, disdaining a title from election alone, calls him- 
self Napoleon the Third. Shall a republic have less 
power of continuance when invading armies prevent a 
peaceful resort to the ballot-box ? What force shall it 

attach to intervening legislation 1 What validity to 
debts contracted for its overthrow 1 These momentous 
questions are, by the invasion of Mexico, thrown up for 
solution. A free state once truly constituted should be 
as undying as its people: the republic of Mexico must 
rise again. 

It was the condition of affairs in Mexico that in- 
volved the Pope of Rome in our difficulties so far that 
he alone among sovereigns recognised the chief of the 
Confederate States as a president, and his supporters 
as a people ; and in letters to two great prelates of the 
Catholic church in the United States gave counsels for 
peace at a time when peace meant the victory of se- 
cession. Yet events move as they are ordered. The 
blessing of the Pope at Rome on the head of Duke 
Maximilian could not revive in the nineteenth century 
the ecclesiastical policy of the sixteenth, and the result 
is only a new proof that there can be no prosperity in 
the state without religious freedom. 

When it came home to the consciousness of the 
Americans that the war which they were waging was 
a war for the liberty of all the nations of the world, 
for freedom itself, they thanked God for giving them 
strength to endure the severity of the trial to which 
He put their sincerity, and nerved themselves for their 

duty with an inexorable will. The President was led 
along by the greatness of their self-sacrificing example ; 
and as a child, in a dark night, on a rugged way, catches 
hold of the hand of its father for guidance and sup- 
port, he clung fast to the hand of the people, and 
moved calmly through the gloom. While the states- 
manship of Europe was mocking at the hopeless 
vanity of their efforts, they put forth such miracles of 
energy as the history of the world had never known. 
The contributions to the popular loans amounted in 
four years to twenty-seven and a half hundred millions 
of dollars; the revenue of the country from taxation 
was increased seven-fold. The navy of the United 
States, drawing into the public service the willing mili- 
tia of the seas, doubled its tonnage in eight months, and 
established an actual blockade from Cape Hatteras to 
the Rio Grande ; in the course of the war it was in- 
creased five-fold in men and in tonnage, while the 
inventive genius of the country devised more effective 
kinds of ordnance, and new forms of naval architecture 
in wood and iron. There went into the field, for various 
terms of enlistment, about two million men, and in 
March last the men in the army exceeded a million : 
that is to say, nine of every twenty able-bodied men in 
the free Territories and States took some part in the 

war ; and at one time every fifth of their able-bodied 
men was in service. In one single month one hundred 
and sixty -five thousand men were recruited into service. 
Once, within four weeks, Ohio organized and placed in 
the field forty-two regiments of infantry — nearly thirty- 
six thousand men ; and Ohio was like other States in 
the east and in the west. The well-mounted cavalry 
numbered eighty-four thousand; of horses and mules 
there were bought, from first to last, two-thirds of a 
million. In the movements of troops science came in 
aid of patriotism, so that, to choose a single instance 
out of many, an army twenty -three thousand strong, 
with its artillery, trains, baggage, and animals, were 
moved by rail from the Potomac to the Tennessee, 
twelve hundred miles, in seven days. On the long 
marches, wonders of military construction bridged the 
rivers, and wherever an army halted, ample supplies 
awaited them at their ever-changing base. The vile 
thought that life is the greatest of blessings did not 
rise up. In six hundred and twenty-five battles and 
severe skirmishes blood flowed like water. It streamed 
over the grassy plains ; it stained the rocks ; the under- 
growth of the forests was red with it ; and the armies 
marched on with majestic courage from one conflict to 
another, knowing that they were fighting for God and 

liberty. The organization of the medical department 
met its infinitely multiplied duties with exactness and 
despatch. At the news of a battle, the best surgeons 
of our cities hastened to the field, to offer the untiring 
aid of the greatest experience and skill. The gentlest 
and most refined of women left homes of luxury and 
ease to build hospital tents near the armies, and serve 
as nurses to the sick and dying. Beside the large 
supply of religious teachers by the public, the congrega- 
tions spared to their brothers in the field the ablest 
ministers. The Christian Commission, which expended 
more than six and a quarter millions, sent nearly five 
thousand clergymen, chosen out of the best, to keep 
unsoiled the religious character of the men, and made 
gifts of clothes and food and medicine. The organiza- 
tion of private charity assumed unheard-of dimensions. 
The Sanitary Commission, which had seven thousand 
societies, distributed, under the direction of an unpaid 
board, spontaneous contributions to the amount of fif- 
teen millions in supplies or money — a million and a 
half in money from California alone — and dotted the 
scene of war, from Paducah to Port Royal, from Belle 
Plain, Virginia, to Brownsville, Texas, with homes and 

The country had for its . allies the river Mississippi, 

which would not be divided, and the range of moun- 
tains which carried the stronghold of the free through 
Western Virginia and Kentucky and Tennessee to the 
highlands of Alabama. But it invoked the still higher 
power of immortal justice. In ancient Greece, where 
servitude was the universal custom, it was held that if 
a child were to strike its parent, the slave should defend 
the parent, and by that act recover his freedom. After 
vain resistance, Lincoln, who had tried to solve the 
question by gradual emancipation, by colonization, and 
by compensation, at last saw that slavery must be abol- 
ished, or the republic must die ; and on the first day of 
January, 1863, lie wrote liberty on the banners of the 
armies. When this proclamation, which struck the 
fetters from three millions of slaves, reached Europe, 
Lord Russell, a countryman of Milton and Wilberforce, 
eagerly put himself forward to speak of it in the name 
of mankind, saying : " It is of a very strange nature ;" 
" a measure of war of a very questionable kind ;" an 
act " of vengeance on the slave owner," that does no 
more than "profess to emancipate slaves where the 
United States authorities cannot make emancipation a 
reality." Now there was no part of the country em- 
braced in the proclamation where the United States 
could not and did not make emancipation a reality. 

Those who saw Lincoln most frequently had never 
before heard him speak with bitterness of any human 
being, but he did not conceal how keenly he felt 
that he had been wronged by Lord Russell. And 
he wrote, in reply to other cavils : " The emancipa- 
tion policy and the use of colored troops were the 
greatest blows yet dealt to the rebellion; the job was a 
great national one, and let none be slighted who bore 
an honorable part in it. I hope peace will come soon, 
and come to stay ; then will there be some black men 
who can remember that they have helped mankind to 
this great consummation." 

The proclamation accomplished its end, for, during 
the war, our armies came into military possession of 
every State in rebellion. Then, too, was called forth 
the new power that comes from the simultaneous diffu- 
sion of thought and feeling among the nations of 
mankind. The mysterious sympathy of the millions 
throughout the world was given spontaneously. The 
best writers of Europe waked the conscience of the 
thoughtful, till the intelligent moral sentiment of the 
Old World was drawn to the side of the unlettered 
statesman of the West. Russia, whose emperor had 
just accomplished one of the grandest acts in the course 
of time, by raising twenty millions of bondmen into 

freeholders, and thus assuring the growth and culture 
of a Russian people, remained our unwavering friend. 
From the oldest abode of civilization, which gave the 
first example of an imperial government with equality 
among the people, Prince Kung, the secretary of state 
for foreign affairs, remembered the saying of Confucius, 
that we should not do to others what we would not 
that others should do to us, and, in the name of his 
emperor, read a lesson to European diplomatists by 
closing the ports of China against the war-ships and 
privateers of " the seditious." 

The war continued, with all the peoples of the world 
for anxious spectators. Its cares weighed heavily on 
Lincoln, and his face was ploughed with the furrows 
of thought and sadness. With malice towards none, 
free from the spirit of revenge, victory made him 
importunate for peace, and his enemies never doubted 
his word, or despaired of his abounding clemency. He 
longed to utter pardon as the word for all, but not 
unless the freedom of the negro should be assured. 
The grand battles of Fort Donelson, Chattanooga, 
Malvern Hill, Antietam, Gettysburg, the Wilderness of 
Virginia, Winchester, Nashville, the capture of New 
Orleans, Vicksburg, Mobile, Fort Fisher, the march 
from Atlanta, and the capture of Savannah and Charles- 



ton, all foretold the issue. Still more, the self-regen- 
eration of Missouri, the heart of the continent; of 
Maryland, whose sons never heard the midnight bells 
chime so sweetly as when they rang out to earth and 
heaven that, by the voice of her own people, she took 
her place among the free ; of Tennessee, which passed 
through fire and blood, through sorrows and the 
shadow of death, to work out her own deliverance, and 
by the faithfulness of her own sons to renew her youth 
like the eagle — proved that victory was deserved, and 
would be worth all that it cost. If words of mercy, 
uttered as they were by Lincoln on the waters of 
Virginia, were defiantly repelled, the armies of the 
country, moving with one will, went as the arrow to its 
mark, and, without a feeling of revenge, struck a death- 
blow at rebellion. 

Where, in the history of nations, had a Chief Magis- 
trate possessed more sources of consolation and joy 
than Lincoln 1 His countrymen had shown their love 
by choosing him to a second term of service. The 
raging war that had divided the country had lulled, and 
private grief was hushed by the grandeur of the result. 
The nation had its new birth of freedom, soon to be 
secured forever by an amendment of the Constitution. 
His persistent gentleness had concpiered for him a kind- 

lier feeling on the part of the South. His scoffers 
among the grandees of Europe began to do him honor. 
The laboring classes everywhere saw in his advance- 
ment their own. All peoples sent him their benedic- 
tions. And at this moment of the height of his fame, 
to which his humility and modesty added charms, he 
fell by the hand of the assassin,, and the only triumph 
awarded him was the march to the grave. 

This is no time to say that human glory is but dust 
and ashes; that we mortals are no more than shadows 
in pursuit of shadows. How mean a thing were man 
if there were not that within him which is higher than 
himself; if he could not master the illusions of sense, 
and discern the connexions of events by a superior 
light which comes from God! He so shares the divine 
impulses that he has power to subject interested passions 
to love of country, and personal ambition to the ennoble- 
ment of his kind. Not in vain has Lincoln lived, for 
he has helped to make this republic an example of 
justice, with no caste but the caste of humanity. The 
heroes who led our armies and ships into battle and fell 
in the service — Lyon, McPherson, Reynolds, Sedgwick, 
Wadsworth, Foote, Ward, with their compeers — did 
not die in vain; they and the myriads of nameless 
martyrs, and he, the chief martyr, gave up their lives 

willingly "that government of the people, by the people, 
and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

The assassination of Lincoln, who was so free from 
malice, has, by some mysterious influence, struck the 
country with solemn awe, and hushed, instead of excit- 
ing, the passion for revenge. It seems as if the just 
had died for the unjust. When I think of the friends 
I have lost in this war — and every one who hears me 
has, like myself, lost some of those whom he most 
loved — there is no consolation to be derived from 
victims on the scaffold, or from anything but the estab- 
lished union of the regenerated nation. 

In his character Lincoln was through and through 
an American. He is the first native of the region west 
of the Alleghanies to attain to the highest station; and 
how happy it is that the man who was brought forward 
as the natural outgrowth and first fruits of that region 
should have been of unblemished purity in private life, 
a good son, a kind husband, a most affectionate father, 
and, as a man, so gentle to all. As to integrity, Douglas, 
his rival, said of him: "Lincoln is the honestest man I 
ever knew." 

The habits of his mind were those of meditation and 
inward thought, rather than of action. He delighted 
to express his opinions by an apothegm, illustrate them 

by a parable, or drive them home by a story. He was 
skilful in analysis, discerned with precision the central 
idea on which a question turned, and knew how to 
disengage it and present it by itself in a few homely, 
strong old English words that would be intelligible to 
all. He excelled in logical statement more than in 
executive ability. He reasoned clearly, his reflective 
judgment was good, and his purposes were fixed; but, 
like the Hamlet of his only poet, his will was tardy in 
action, and, for this reason, and not from humility or 
tenderness of feeling, he sometimes deplored that the 
duty which devolved on him had not fallen to the lot of 

Lincoln gained a name by discussing questions which, 
of all others, most easily lead to fanaticism ; but he 
was never carried away by enthusiastic zeal, never 
indulged in extravagant language, never hurried to 
support extreme measures, never allowed himself to be 
controlled by sudden impulses. During the progress 
of the election at which he was chosen President he 
expressed no opinion that went beyond the Jefferson 
proviso of 1784. Like Jefferson and Lafayette, he had 
faith in the intuitions of the people, and read those 
intuitions with rare sagacity. He knew how to bide 
time, and was less apt to run ahead of public thought 

than to lag behind. He never sought to electrify the 
community by taking an advanced position with a ban- 
ner of opinion, but rather studied to move forward 
compactly, exposing no detachment in front or rear; 
so that the course of his administration might have 
been explained as the calculating policy of a shrewd 
and watchful politician, had there not been seen behind 
it a fixedness of principle which from the first deter- 
mined his purpose, and grew more intense with every 
year, consuming his life by its energy. Yet his sensi- 
bilities were not acute ; he had no vividness of 
imagination to picture to his mind the horrors of the 
battle-field or the sufferings in hospitals; his conscience 
was more tender than his feelings. 

Lincoln was one of the most unassuming of men. 
In time of success, he gave credit for it to those whom 
he employed, to the people, and to the Providence of 
God. He did not know what ostentation is; when he 
became President he was rather saddened than elated, 
and his conduct and manners showed more than ever 
his belief that all men are born ecpial. He was no 
respecter of persons, and neither rank, nor reputation, 
nor services overawed him. In judging of character 
he failed in discrimination, and his appointments were 
sometimes bad ; but he readily deferred to public 

opinion, and in appointing the head of the armies he 
followed the manifest preference of Congress. 

A good President will secure unity to his administra- 
tion by his own supervision of the various departments. 
Lincoln, who accepted advice readily, was never gov- 
erned by any member of his cabinet, and could not be 
moved from a purpose deliberately formed; but his 
supervision of affairs was unsteady and incomplete, and 
sometimes, by a sudden interference transcending the 
usual forms, he rather confused than advanced the public 
business. If he ever failed in the scrupulous regard 
due to the relative rights of Congress, it was so evidently 
without design that no conflict could ensue, or evil 
precedent be established. Truth he would receive from 
any one, but when impressed by others, he did not use 
their opinions till, by reflection, he had made them 
thoroughly his own. 

It was the nature of Lincoln to forgive. When 
hostilities ceased, he, who had always sent forth the flag 
with every one of its stars in the field, was eager to 
receive back his returning countrymen, and meditated 
"some new announcement to the South." The amend- 
ment of the Constitution abolishing slavery had his 
most earnest and unwearied support. During the rage 
of war we get a glimpse into his soul from his privately 

suggesting to Louisiana, that " in defining the franchise 
some of the colored people might be let in," saying : 
" They would probably help, in some trying time to 
come, to keep the jewel of liberty in the family of free- 
dom." In 1857 he avowed himself "not in favor of" 
what he improperly called " negro citizenship," for the 
Constitution discriminates between citizens and electors. 
Three days before his death he declared his preference 
that " the elective franchise were now conferred on the 
very intelligent of the colored men, and on those of 

them who served our cause as soldiers ;" but he wished 
•it done by the States themselves, and he never harbored 
the thought of exacting it from a new government, as a 
condition of its recognition. 

The last day of his life beamed with sunshine, as he 
sent, by the Speaker of this House, his friendly greet- 
ings to the men of the Rocky mountains and the Pacific 
slope; as he contemplated the return of hundreds of 
thousands of soldiers to fruitful industry; as he wel- 
comed in advance hundreds of thousands of emigrants 
from Europe; as his eye kindled with enthusiasm at 
the coming wealth of the nation. And so, with these 
thoughts for his country, he was removed from the toils 
and temptations of this life, and was at peace. 

Hardly had the late President been consigned to the 

grave when the prime minister of England died, full 
of years and honors. Palmerston traced his lineage to 
the time of the conqueror; Lincoln went back only to 
his grandfather. Palmerston received his education 
from the best scholars of Harrow, Edinburg, and Cam- 
bridge; Lincoln's early teachers were the silent forest, 
the prairie, the river, and the stars. Palmerston was in 
public life for sixty years; Lincoln for but a tenth of 
that time. Palmerston was a skilful guide of an estab- 
lished aristocracy; Lincoln a leader, or rather a com- 
panion, of the people. Palmerston was exclusively an 
Englishman, and made his boast in the House of Com-, 
mons that the interest of England was his Shibboleth; 
Lincoln thought always of mankind, as well as his own 
country, and served human nature itself. Palmerston, 
from his narrowness as an Englishman, did not endear 
his country to any one court or to any one nation, but 
rather caused general uneasiness and dislike; Lincoln 
left America more beloved than ever by all the peoples 
of Europe. Palmerston was self-possessed and adroit 
in reconciling the conflicting factions of the aristocracy; 
Lincoln, frank and ingenuous, knew how to poise 
himself on the ever-moving opinions of the masses. 
Palmerston was capable of insolence towards the weak, 
quick to the sense of honor, not heedful of right; 

Lincoln rejected counsel given only as a matter of 
policy, and was not capable of being wilfully unjust. 
Palmerston, essentially superficial, delighted in banter, 
and knew how to divert grave opposition by playful 
levity; Lincoln was a man of infinite jest on his lips, 
with saddest earnestness at his heart. Palmerston was 
a fair representative of the aristocratic liberality of the 
day, choosing for his tribunal, not the conscience of 
humanity, but the House of Commons; Lincoln took 
to heart the eternal truths of liberty, obeyed them as 
the commands of Providence, and accepted the human 
race as the judge of his fidelity. Palmerston did 
nothing that will endure; Lincoln finished a work 
which all time cannot overthrow. Palmerston is a 
shining example of the ablest of a cultivated aristocracy; 
Lincoln is the genuine fruit of institutions where the 
laboring man shares and assists to form the great ideas 
and designs of his country. Palmerston was buried in 
Westminister Abbey by the order of his Queen, and 
was attended by the British aristocracy to his grave, 
which, after a few years, will hardly be noticed by the 
side of the graves of Fox and Chatham; Lincoln 
was followed by the sorrow of his country across 
the continent to his resting-place in the heart of the 
Mississippi valley, to be remembered through all 


time by his countrymen, and by all the peoples of 
the world. 

As the sum of all, the hand of Lincoln raised the 
flag ; the American people was the hero of the war ; 
and, therefore, the result is a new era of republicanism. 
The disturbances in the country grew not out of any- 
thing republican, but out of slavery, which is a part of 
the system of hereditary wrong ; and the expulsion of 
this domestic anomaly opens to the renovated nation a 
career of unthought-of dignity and glory. Henceforth 
our country has a moral unity as the land of free labor. 
The party for slavery and the party against slavery are 
no more, and are merged in the party of Union and 
freedom. The States which would have left us are not 
brought back as subjugated States, for then we should 
hold them only so long as that conquest could be main- 
tained; they come to their rightful place under the Con- 
stitution as original, necessary, and inseparable members 
of the Union. 

We build monuments to the dead, but no monuments 
of victory. We respect the example of the Romans, 
who never, even in conquered lands, raised emblems of 
triumph. And our generals are not to be classed in 
the herd of vulgar warriors, but are of the school of 
Timolcon, and William of Nassau, and Washington. 

They have used the sword only to give peace to their 
country and restore her to her place in the great 
assembly of the nations. 

Senators and Representatives of America : as I 
bid you farewell, my last words shall be words of hope 
and confidence ; for now slavery is no more, the Union 
is restored, a people begins to live according to the 
laws of reason, and republicanism is intrenched in a 



Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at 10.30 p. m. on the 14th of 
April, 1865, and died at 7.20 a. m. the next day. Congress was not 
in session, hut a large number of members hastened to the Capitol on 
the receipt of the startling intelligence, and on the 17th a card was 
published by Senator Foot, inviting those Senators and Representa- 
tives who might be in the city the next day to meet at the Capitol, 
to consider what action they would take in relation to the funeral 

The members of the 39th Congress then in Washington met in the 
Senate reception room, at the Capitol, on the 17th of April, 1865, at 
noon. Hon. Lafayette S. Foster of Connecticut, President pro 
tern, of the Senate, was called to the chair, and the Hon. Schuyler 
Colfax of Indiana, Speaker of the House in the 38th Congress, 
was chosen secretary. 

Senator Foot, of Vermont, who was visibly affected, stated that 
the object of the meeting was to make arrangements relative to the 
funeral of the deceased President of the United States. 

On motion of Senator Sumner, of Massachusetts, a committee of 
four members from each house was ordered to report at 4 p. m., what 
action would be fitting for the meeting to take. The Chairman ap- 
pointed Senators Sumner of Massachusetts, Harris of New York, 
Johnson of Maryland, Ramsey of Minnesota, and Conness of Cali- 
fornia, and Representatives Washburne of Illinois, Smith of Ken- 
tucky, Schenck of Ohio, Pike of Maine, and Coffroth of Pennsylvania ; 
and on motion of Mr. Schenck, the Chairman and Secretary of the 
meeting were added to the Committee, and then the meeting ad- 
journed until 4 p. m. 

The meeting re-assembled at 4 p. m., pursuant to adjournment. 

Mr. Sumner, from the Committee heretofore appointed, reported 
that they had selected as pall-bearers on the part of the Sen- 
ate : Mr. Foster of Connecticut ; Mr. Morgan of New York ; Mr. 
Johnson of Maryland; Mr. Yates of Illinois; Mr. Wade of Ohio, 
and Mr. Conness of California. On the part of the House : Mr. 
Dawes of Massachusetts ; Mr. Coffroth of Pennsylvania; Mr. Smith 
of Kentucky ; Mr. Colfax of Indiana ; Mr. Worthington of Nevada, 
and Mr. Washburne of Illinois. They also recommended the ap- 
pointment of one member of Congress from each State and Territory 
to act as a Congressional Committee to accompany the remains of the 
late President to Illinois, and presented the following names as such 
Committee, the Chairman of the meeting to have the authority of 
appointing hereafter for the States and Territories not represented 
to-day from which members may be present at the Capitol by the 
day of the funeral : 

Maine, Mr. Pike; New Hampshire, Mr. E. II. Rollins; Vermont, 
Mr. Foot; Massachusetts, Mr. Sumner; Rhode Island, Mr. Anthony; 
Connecticut, Mr. Dixon ; New York, Mr. Harris ; Pennsylvania, 
Mr. Cowan; Ohio, Mr. Schenck ; Kentucky, Mr. Smith; Indiana, 
Mr. Julian: Illinois, the delegation; Michigan, Mr. Chandler; Iowa, 
Mr. Harlan ; California, Mr. Shannon ; Minnesota, Mr. Ramsey ; 
Oregon, Mr. Williams; Kansas, Mr. S. Clarke; West Virginia, Mr. 
Whaley ; Nevada, Mr. Nye ; Nebraska, Mr. Hitchcock ; Colorado, 
Mr. Bradford ; Dakota, Mr. Todd ; Idaho, Mr. Wallace. 

The Committee also recommended the adoption of the following 
resolution : 

Resolved, That the Sergeants-at-Arms of the Senate and House 
with their necessary assistants be requested to attend the Committee 

accompanying the remains of the late President, and to make all the 
necessary arrangements. 

All of which was concurred in unanimously. 

Mr. Sumner from the same Committee also reported the following, 
which was unanimously agreed to : 

The menbers of the Senate and House of Representatives now 
assembled it Washington, humbly confessing their dependence upon 
Almighty God who rules all that is done for human good, make 
haste, at thij informal meeting, to express the emotions with which 
they have beui filled by the appalling tragedy which has deprived 
the Nation of its head and covered the land with mourning; and in 
further declaration of their sentiments unanimously resolve : 

1. That in testimony of their veneration and affection for the 
illustrious dead, who has been permitted under Providence to do so 
much for his couitry and for liberty, they will unite in the funeral 
services, and by an appropriate Committee will accompany his re- 
mains to their place of burial in the State from which he was taken 
for the national service. 

2. That in the life of Abraham Lincoln, who, by the benignant 
favor of Republicai institutions, rose from humble beginnings to the 
heights of power snd fame, they recognize an example of purity, 
simplicity and virtiu, which should be a lesson to mankind ; while 
in his death they reiognize a martyr, whose memory will become 
more precious as men learn to prize those principles of constitutional 
order and those rights, civil, political, and human, for which he was 
made a sacrifice. 

3. That they invite the President of the United States, by sol- 
emn proclamation, to recommend to the people of the United States 
to assemble on a day'o be appointed by him, publicly to testify 
their grief, and to dwel. on the good which has been done on earth 
by him whom we now nourn. 

4. That a copy of these resolutions be communicated to the Presi- 
dent of the United Statls ; and also, that a copy be communicated 
to the afflicted widow <f the late President, as an expression of 
sympathy in her great bereavement. 

The meeting then adjotrned. 

The funeral ceremonies t»ok place in the East room of the Execu- 
tive Mansion, at noon, on tie 19th of April, and the remains were 
then escorted to the Capitol, where they lay in state in the rotundo. 

On the morning of April 21, the remains were taken from the 
Capitol and placed in a funeral car, in which they were taken to 
Springfield, Illinois, accompanied by the Congressional Committee. 
Halting at the principal cities along the route, that appropriate 
honors might be paid to the deceased, the funeral cortege arrived on 
the 3d of May at Springfield, Illinois, and the next day the remains 
were deposited in Oak Ridge cemetery near that city. 

President Johnson, in his annual message to Congress at the 
commencement of the session of 1865-66, thus annomced the death 
of his predecessor : 

" To express gratitude to God, in the name of tie people, for the 
preservation of the United States, is my first duty h addressing you. 
Our thoughts next revert to the death of the late President by an 
act of parricidal treason. The grief of the natbn is still fresh ; it 
finds some solace in the consideration that he liv«d to enjoy the high- 
est proof of its confidence by entering on the renewed term of the 
Chief Magistracy to which he had been elected ; that he brought 
the civil war substantially to a close ; that hi loss was deplored in 
all parts of the Union; and that foreign natims have rendered jus- 
tice to his memory." 

Hon. E. B. Washburne, of Illinois, immediately after the Presi- 
dent's message had been read in the Hmse of Representatives, 
offered the following joint resolution, which \as unanimously adopted : 

Resolved, That a committee of one mender from each State repre- 
sented in this House be appointed on the >art of this House, to join 
such committee as may be appointed on he part of the Senate, to 
consider and report by what token of resject and affection it may be 
proper for the Congress of the United States to express the deep 
sensibility of the nation to the event rt' the decease of their late 
President, Abraham Lincoln, and that » much of the message of the 
President as refers to that melancholy <vent be referred to said com- 



On motion of Hon. Solomon Foot, the Senate unanimously con- 
curred in the passage of the resolution, and the following joint com- 
mittee was appointed — thirteen on the part of the Senate and one 
for every State represented (twenty-four) on the part of the House 
of Representatives : 

Senate. House of Representatives. 

Hon. Solomon Foot "Vt. 

Hon. Richard Yates 111. 

Hon. Benj. F. Wade Ohio. 

Hon. Win. Pitt Fessenden . .Me. 

Hon. Henry Wilson Mass. 

Hon. James R. Doolittlc. . -Wis. 

Hon. Jas. H. Lane Ka. 

Hon. Ira Harris N. Y. 

Hon. Jas. W. Nesmith. -Oregon. 

Hon. Henry S. Lane Ind. 

Hon. Waitman T. Willey . W.Va. 

Hon. Chas. R. Buckalew Pa. 

Hon. John B. Henderson . . . Mo. 

Hon. Ellihu B. Washburne. .111, 

Hon. James G. Blaine Me. 

Hon. James W. Patterson. N. H. 

Hon. Justin S. Morrill Vt. 

Hon. Nathaniel P. Banks -Mass. 
Hon. Thomas A. Jenckes. .R. I. 

Hon. Henry 0. Deming Ct. 

Hon. John A. Griswold. . .N. Y. 
Hon. Edwin R. V. Wright. N. J. 

Hon. Thaddeus Stevens Pa. 

Hon. John A. Nicholson Del. 

Hon. Francis Thomas Md. 

Hon. Robert 0. Schenck. .Ohio. 
Hon. George S. Shanklin. . -Ky. 

Hon. Godlove S. Orth Ind. 

Hon. Joseph W. McClurg . .Mo. 
Hon. Fernando C. Beaman . Mich. 
Hon. John A. Kasson .... Iowa. 

Hon. Ithamar C. Sloan Wis. 

Hon. William Higby Oal. 

Hon. William Wisdom. ..Minn. 
Hon. J. H. D. Henderson, Oregon. 

Hon. Sidney Olarke Kansas. 

Hon. Kellian V. Whaley . W. Va. 

That committee, by Hon. Mr. Foot, made the following report, 
which was concurred in by both Houses ncm. con. 

Whereas the melancholy event of the violent and tragic death of 
Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States, having oc- 
curred during the recess of Congress, and the two Houses sharing in 
the general grief and desiring to manifest their sensibility upon the 
occasion of the public bereavement : Therefore, 

Be it resolved by the Senate, (the House of Representatives con- 
curring,) That the two Houses of Congress will assemble in the 
Hall of the House of Representatives, on Monday, the 12th day of 
February next, that being his anniversary birthday, at the hour of 
twelve meridian, and that, in the presence of the two Houses there 
assembled, an address upon the life and character of Abraham Lin- 
coln, late President of the United States, be pronounced by Hon. 
Edwin M. Stanton; and that the President of the Senate pro tem- 
pore and the Speaker of the House of Representatives be requested 
to invite the President of the United States, the heads of the several 
Departments, the judges of the Supreme Court, the representatives 
of the foreign governments near this Government, and such officers 
of the army and navy as have received the thanks of Congress who 
may then be at the seat of Government, to be present on the occa- 

And be it further resolved, That the President of the United 
States be requested to transmit a copy of these resolutions to Mrs. 
Lincoln, and to assure her of the profound sympathy of the two 
Houses of Congress for her deep personal affliction, and of their sin~ 
cere condolence for the late national bereavement. 

The Hon. George Bancroft of New York, in response to an 

invitation from the joint committee, consented to deliver the address, 

(Mr. Stanton having previously declined.) 

On the morning of the 12th of February, 186s? the Capitol was 
closed to all except the members of Congress. At ten o'clock the doors 
leading to the rotundo were opened to those to whom tickets of ad- 
mission had been extended, and the spacious galleries of the House 
of Representatives were soon crowded. The Speaker's desk was 
draped in mourning, and chairs were placed upon the floor for the 
invited guests. 

At 12.30 p. in., the members of the Senate, following their Presi- 
dent pro tempore and their Secretary, and preceded by their Sergeant- 
at-Arms, entered the Hall of the House of Representatives and 

occupied the seats reserved for them on the right and left of the main 

The President pro tempore occupied the Speaker's chair, the 
Speaker of the House sitting at his left. The Chaplains of the 
Senate and of the House were seated on the right and left of the 
Presiding Officers of their respective Houses. 

Shortly afterward the President of the United States, with the 
members of his Cabinet, entered the Hall and occupied seats, the 
President in front of the Speaker's table, and his Cabinet immediately 
on his right. 

Immediately after the entrance of the President, the Chief Justice 
and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United 
States entered the Hall and occupied seats next to the President, on 
the right of the Speaker's table. 

The others present were seated as follows : 

The Heads of Departments, with the Diplomatic Corps, next to 
the President, on the left of the Speaker's table ; 

Officers of the Army and Navy, who, by name, have received the 
thanks of Congress, next to the Supreme Court, on the right of the 
Speaker's table ; 

Assistant Heads of Departments, Governors of States and Terri- 
tories, and the Mayors of Washington and Georgetown, directly in 
the rear of the Heads of Departments ; 

The Chief Justice and Judges of the Court of Claims, and the 
Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the 
District of Columbia, directly in the rear of the Supreme Court ; 

The Heads of Bureaus in the Departments, directly in the rear of 
the officers of the Army and Navy ; 

Representatives on either side of the Hall, in the rear of those 


invited, four rows of seats on either side of the main aisles being re- 
served for Senators ; 

The Orator of the day, Hon. George Bancroft, at the table of the 
Clerk of the House ; 

The Chairmen of the Joint Committee of Arrangements, at the 
right and left of the orator, and next to them the Secretary of the 
Senate and the Clerk of the House ; 

The other officers of the Senate and of the House, on the floor at 
the right and the left of the Speaker's platform. 

When order was restored, at twelve o'clock and twenty minutes 
p. m., the Marine band, stationed in the vestibule, played appropriate 

Hon. Lafayete S. Foster, President pro tempore of the Senate, 
called the two Houses of Congress to order at 12.30. 

Rev. Dr. Boynton, Chaplain of the House, offered the following 
prayer : 

Almighty God, who dost inhabit eternity, while we appear but 
for a little moment and then vanish away, we adore The Eternal 
Name. Infinite in power and majesty, and greatly to be feared art 
Thou. All earthly distinctions disappear in Thy presence, and we 
come before Thy throne simply as men, fallen men, condemned 
alike by Thy law, and justly cut off through sin from communion 
with Thee. But through Thy infinite mercy, a new way of access 
has been opened through Thy Sou, and consecrated by His blood. 
We come, in that all-worthy Name, and plead the promise of par- 
don and acceptance through Him. By the imposing solemnities of 
this scene we are carried back to the hour when the nation heard, 
and shuddered at the hearing, that Abraham Lincoln was dead — was 
murdered. We would bow ourselves submissively to Him by whom 

that awful hour was appointed. We Low to the stroke that fell on 
the country in the very hour of its triumph, and hushed all its shouts 
of victory to one voiceless sorrow. " The Lord gave and the Lord 
hath taken away. Blessed he the name of the Lord." The shadow 
of that death has not yet passed from the heart of the nation, as this 
national testimonial bears witness to-day. The gloom thrown from 
these surrounding emblems of death is fringed, we know, with the 
glory of a great triumph, and the light of a great and good man's 
memory. Still, O Lord, may this hour bring to us the proper warn- 
ing! "Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the 
Son of Man conieth." Any one of us may be called as suddenly as 
he whom we mourn. 

We worship Thee as the God of our fathers. Thou didst trace 
for them a path over the trackless sea, and bring them to these shores, 
bearing with them the seed of a great dominion. We thank Thee 
that the life-power of the young nation they planted, received 
from Thee such energy, guidance, and protection, that it, spread 
rapidly over the breadth of the continent, carrying with it Christian 
liberty, churches, schools, and all the blessings of a Christian civili- 
zation. We thank Thee that the progress of the true American life 
has been irresistible, because sustained by Thy eternal counsels and 
Thy almighty power, and because the might of God was in this 
national life. We have seen it sweeping all opposition away, grind- 
ing great systems and parties to powder, and breaking in pieces the 
devices of men ; and Thou hast raised up for it heroic defenders in 
every hour of peril. We thank Thee, Strong Defender ! And 
when treason was hatching its plot and massing its armies, then, 
God of Israel, who didst bring David from the sheepfold, Thou 
gavest one reared in the humble cabin to become the hope and stay 

of this great people in their most perilous hour, to shield them in 
disaster and lead them to final victory. 

We thank Thee that Thou gavest us an honest man, simple- 
hearted and loving as a child, but with a rugged strength that needed 
only culture and discipline. Thanks be to God that this discipline 
was granted him through stern public trial, domestic sorrow, and 
Thy solemn providences, till the mere politician was overshadowed 
by the nobler growth of his moral and spiritual nature, till he came, 
as we believe, into sympathy with Christ, and saw that we could 
succeed only by doing justice. Then, inspired by Thee, he uttered 
those words of power which changed three millions of slaves into 
men — the great act which has rendered his name forever illustrious 
and secured the triumph of our cause. "We think of him almost as 
the prophet of his era. Thou didst make that honest, great-hearted 
man the central figure of his age, setting upon goodness, upon moral 
grandeur, the seal of Thine approval and the crown of victory. We 
bless Thee that he did not die until assured of victory, until he knew 
that his great work was done, and he had received all the honor that 
earth could bestow, and then we believe Thou didst give him a 
martyr's crown. We thank Thee that we have this hope for the 
illustrious dead. 

Great reason have we also to thank Thee that such was the enduring 
strength of our institutions that they received no perceptible shock 
from the death of even such a man and in such an hour, and that 
Thou didst provide for that perilous moment one whose strength 
was sufficient to receive and bear the weight of government, and 
who, we trust, will work out the great problem of Christian freedom 
to its final solution, and by equal law and equal rights bind this 
great people into one inseparable whole. 

We thank Thee that the representatives of the nation have come 

to sit to-day in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln's tomb, to express 
once more their now chastened sorrow. May they all reconsecrate 
themselves to those principles which made him worthy to be remem- 
bered thus, and then a redeemed and transfigured land will be a fit- 
ting monument for him and for them. 

Endow the President with wisdom equal to his great responsibili- 
ties, that the blessings of a whole nation may also be given to him. 
May his advisers, our judges, and our legislators, be constantly 
instructed by Thee. 

May Thy blessing rest on the officers of the army aud navy, by 
whose skill and courage our triumph was won ; upon our soldiers and 
sailors; upon our people, and on those who are struggling on toward 
a perfect manhood. 

Bless these eminent men the honored representatives of Foreign 
Powers. Remember the sovereigns and people they represent. 
We thank Thee that peace reigns with them as with us. May it 
continue until the nations shall learn war no more. 

Remember Abraham Lincoln's widow and family. Comfort them 
in their sore bereavement. May they be consoled to know how 
much the father and husband is loved and honored still. 

Give Divine support to the distinguished orator of the day. May 
he so speak as to impress the whole nation's nvnd. Prepare us to 
live as men in this age should, that we may be received into Thy 
Heavenly Kingdom, aud to Thy name shall be the praise and the 
glory forevermore. Amen. 

Hon. Lafayette S. Foster, President pro tempore of the Senate, 
in introducing the orator of the day, said : 

No ordinary occasion could have convened this august assemblage. 

For four weary years the storm of war, of civil war, raged fiercely 
over our country. The blood of the best and bravest of her sons 

was freely shed to preserve her name and place among the nations 
of the earth. In April last, the dark clouds which had so long hung 
heavily and gloomily over our heads, were all dispersed, and the 
light of peace, more welcome even than the vernal sunshine, glad- 
dened the eyes and the hearts of our people. Shouts of joy aud 
songs of triumph echoed through the land. The hearts of the devout 
poured themselves in orisons and thanksgivings to the God of battles 
and of nations that the most wicked and most formidable rebellion 
ever known in human history had been effectually crushed, and our 
country saved. 

In the midst of all this abounding joy, suddenly and swiftly as 
the lightning's flash came the fearful tidings that the Chief Magis- 
trate of the Republic — our President — loved and honored as few men 
ever were — so honest, so faithful, so true to his duty and his country, 
had been foully murdered — had fallen by the bullet of an assassin. 
All hearts were stricken with horror. The transition from extreme 
joy to profound sorrow was never more sudden and universal. Had 
it been possible for a stranger, ignorant of the truth, to look over 
our land, he would have supposed that there had come upon us 
some visitation of the Almighty not less dreadful than that which 
once fell on ancient Egypt on that fearful night when there was 
not a house where there was not one dead. 

The nation wept for him. 

After being gazed upon by myriads of loving eyes, under the dome 
of this magnificent Capitol, the remains of our President were borne 
in solemn procession through our cities, towns, and villages, all 
draped in the habilaments of sorrow, the symbols and tokens of pro- 
found and heartfelt grief, to their final resting-place in the capital 
of his own State. There he sleeps, peacefully, embalmed in his 
country's tears. 

The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
have deemed it proper to commemorate this tragic event by appro- 
priate services. This day, the birth-day of him whom we mourn, 
has properly been selected. An eminent citizen, distinguished by 
his labors and services in high and responsible public positions at 
home and abroad — whose pen has instructed the present age in the 
history of his country, and done much to transmit the fame and re- 
nown of that country to future ages — Hon. George Bancroft — will 
now deliver a discourse. 

Hon. George Bancroft (who on coming forward to the Clerk's 
desk was greeted with warm demonstrations of applause) then pro- 
ceeded to deliver the M( morial Address. 

The exercises of the day were closed by the following prayer and 
benediction by the Rev. Dr. Gray, Chaplain of the Senate : 

God of a bereaved nation, from Thy high and holy Habitation 
look down upon us and suitably impress us to-day, with a sense that 
God only is great. Kings and Presidents die; but Thou, the Uni- 
versal Ruler, livest to roll on thine undisturbed affairs forever, from 
Thy Throne. A wail has gone up from the heart of the nation to 
heaven — 0, hear, and pity, and assuage, and save. We pray that 
Thou wilt command thy blessing now, which is life forevermore, 
upon the family of the President dead; upon the President living 
upon the Ministers of state; upon the united Houses of Congress; 
upon the Judges of our Courts ; upon the officers of the Army and 
the Navy ; upon the broken families and desolated homes all over the 
land; and especially upon the nation. And grant that grace and 
peace and mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God 
the Father, and the fellowship of God the Spirit, may rest upon and 
abide with us all, forever and ever. Amen. 

The Senators then returned to the Senate Chamber, and the Presi- 

dent of the United States, the orator of the day, and the invited 
guests withdrew, the Marine Band, stationed in the amphitheater, 
performing national airs. 

Hon. E. B. Washburn e, of Illinois, after the House had resumed 
the transaction of business, by unanimous consent, introduced the 
following concurrent resolutions ; which were read, considered, and 
agreed to: 

Resolved, (the Senate concurring,) That the thanks of Congress 
be presented to Hon. George Bancroft for the appropriate memorial 
address delivered by him on the life and services of Abraham Lin- 
coln, late President of the United States, in the Representatives 
Hall before both Houses of Congress and their invited guests, on the 
12th day of February, 1866, and that he be requested to furnish a 
copy for publication. 

Resolved, That the chairmen of the joint committee appointed to 
make the necessary arrangements to carry into effect the resolution 
of this Congress in relation to the memorial exercises in honor of 
Abraham Lincoln be requested to communicate to Mr. Bancroft the 
aforegoing resolution, receive his answer thereto, and present the 
same to both Houses of Congress. 

These resolutions were transmitted to the Senate, where, on mo- 
tion of the Hon. Solomon Foot, of Vermont, they were considered 
by unanimous consent, and concurred in. 

In the Senate, on the 16th of February, Hon. Mr. Foot stated 
that in pursuance of the concurrent resolutions of the two Houses of 
Congress adopted on the 12th instant, the chairmen of the joint com- 
mittee of arrangements on the memorial exercises of the late President 
of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, had placed a certified copy 
of said concurrent resolutions in the hands of Hon. George Bancroft, 
and had requested of him a copy of his address on the occasion re- 
ferred to for publication, as woidd appear from the following corre- 
spondence, which he moved be read, laid upon the table, and printed. 

As no objection was made, the Secretary read as follows : 

The Capitol, Washington, 

February 13, 1866. 
Sir : We have the honor to present to you an official copy of the 
two concurrent resolutions adopted by the Senate and House of 
Representatives on the 12th instant, expressing the thanks of Con- 
gress for the appropriate memorial address delivered by you on the 
life and services of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United 
States, and instructing us to request from you a copy of the address 
for publication. 

Having shared the high gratification of hearing the address, we 
take pleasure, in accordance with the second of the concurrent reso- 
lutions, in requesting you to furnish a copy of the address for publi- 

We have the honor to be, with very great respect, your obedient 

Chairman on the part of tJie Senate 

Chairman on the part of the House. 
Hon. George Bancroft. 

Washington, D. C, February 14, 1866. 
Gentlemen : I have received your letter of yesterday and a copy 
of the two concurrent resolutions of Congress to which you refer. 
The thauks of the Senate and House of Representatives, for the per- 
formance of the duty assigned me, I value as a very distinguished 
honor, and I shall cheerfully furnish a copy of the address for pub- 

I remain, gentlemen, very sincerely yours, 

Hon. Solomon Foot, 

Chairman on the part of the Senate. 
Hon. E B. Washburne, 

Chairman on the part of the House. 

In the House of Representatives, Hon. E. B. Washburne, of 
Illinois, made the same statement, and, after the correspondence 
submitted had been read, the House ordered an edition of twenty 
thousand extra copies.